Case Digest: Meralco v. Gala

G.R. Nos. 191288 & 191304 : March 7, 2012




On March 2, 2006, respondent Jan Carlo Gala commenced employment with the petitioner Meralco Electric Company (Meralco) as a probationary lineman. Barely four months on the job, Gala was dismissed for alleged complicity in pilferages of Meralcos electrical supplies. Gala responded by filing an illegal dismissal complaint against Meralco. The LA dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the NLRC reversed the LAs decision since there is no concrete showing of complicity with the alleged misconduct but did not order for the reinstatement of Gala. Both parties appealed to the CA and the latter denied Meralcos petition and ordered the reinstatement of Gala.

ISSUE: Whether or not Gala was illegally dismissed.

HELD: Court of Appeals decision is set aside.


Contrary to the conclusions of the CA and the NLRC, there is substantial evidence supporting Meralcos position that Gala had become unfit to continue his employment with the company. Gala was found, after an administrative investigation, to have failed to meet the standards expected of him to become a regular employee and this failure was mainly due to his undeniable knowledge, if not participation, in the pilferage activities done by their group, all to the prejudice of the Companys interests. Gala forgets that as a probationary employee, his overall job performance and his behavior were being monitored and measured in accordance with the standards (i.e., the terms and conditions) laid down in his probationary employment agreement. Under paragraph 8 of the agreement, he was subject to strict compliance with, and non-violation of the Company Code on Employee Discipline, Safety Code, rules and regulations and existing policies. Par. 10 required him to observe at all times the highest degree of transparency, selflessness and integrity in the performance of his duties and responsibilities, free from any form of conflict or contradicting with his own personal interest.